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900 safety violations found by New York City's DOB

Laws and regulations that set out safety standards for construction sites in New York City are not created to annoy, to cause delays in projects or to add undue expense to developers. Safety laws and regulations are enacted to protect those who work on the site as well as those who may travel near the site from construction accidents that cause injury. 

The New York City Department of Buildings is a governmental agency that "ensures the safe and lawful use of over 975,000 buildings and properties" in the city. The agency frequently conducts inspections of buildings and construction sites in the city, and they recently announced during Construction Safety Week that many may not be as safe as we think. 

The agency recently reported that somewhere near 900 citations were written these past two months involving violations of safety regulations and laws. The citations all involved low-rise building construction sites and meant over $950,000 in fines for the companies responsible for the violations. 

The two-month long inspection involved agency officials traveling to more than 920 low-rise building construction sites around the city. In this inspection, the defintion of a low-rise building included structures that had nine or fewer stories. 

So what were these violations? Many of them included sites that forced construction workers to do their jobs without the proper safety equipment such as adequate guardrails or fences or fire extinguishers -- something that has remained especially important in wake of the fatal explosion in West, Texas, that started with a small fire. 

The construction sites that were deemed too unsafe to continue to allow workers on the premises were issued full Stop Work orders and some received partial orders until the violations could be cleared. 

Source: Claims Journal, "New York City Inspects More Than 900 Construction Sites," May 1, 2013, "About the Buildings Department," May 2, 2013

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